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Does Eating Sugar Really Cause Acne?
Hello, my name is Shiloh, and I used to be mildly, slightly... okay, entirely addicted to sweets. If I didn't have to eat anything besides cakes, cookies, pies, etc. for the rest of my life, I would have been just fine!
And while this was a real health issue, I didn't want to take the time to think about what sweets were doing to my skin.
Anytime I had a breakout, I assumed that it was the environment, the new skincare product I had just started using, or stress (which would make me eat more sweets).
It wasn't until I got truly tired of my face looking like the first moon landing that I decided to do something to change it.
After some pretty hard work and dedication, I’ve found the answer and I’ve got the tips you need to get you through the sugar storm. Beware that this will be a bittersweet pill to swallow (see what I did there?), but it will be worth the clear complexion in the end.
What Sugar Does to Your Skin
The first thing you need to understand is the glycemic index or GI. This is a scale that shows the rate that foods increase your blood glucose levels. The higher the rate, the higher it is on the scale.
High GI foods are an issue because the more your blood sugar increases, the more insulin is released. All that insulin lays out the welcome mat for inflammation.
If you weren't familiar, inflammation is the end-all, be-all for acne formation. Mix dead skin, bacteria, excess oil (which is another side effect of sugar), and inflammation, and you have the perfect conditions for an acne storm!
Foods high on the GI scale include sugar and foods that convert into sugar in your body, like white bread, pasta, baked potatoes (boiled sweet potatoes are in the safe zone), white rice, and anything you consider junk food.
While this is not the complete list (there's one here), you get the idea that high GI foods are generally the ones we're told not to eat.
Higher the GI, the more blood sugar can increase, and the more insulin is released.
Dermatologists have even suggested that people who eat sugar and carbs are often more likely to get recurring acne throughout life.
So what does that mean? Sugar is most certainly not our friend, like at all!
Sugar Breakout Remedies
I would like to believe that explanation is enough to convince you to stop eating sugar forever, but that’s not realistic. We'll go out with friends and indulge, celebrate the season release of our favorite show on Netflix with cake and ice cream, or stop by Starbucks for the second-day in-a-row (which I am totally never guilty of).
So, to help you with your “lowering sugar consumption” goals, here are some tips to overcome temptation. Let’s get your skin on track so those cheat days won't hurt as much!
When you're on the verge of a breakthrough, you can't afford to lag behind. Being vigilant about the things you eat is one of the most important decisions you'll make in this fight against sugar. I know that it’s easy to get hungry throughout the day and go for that pack of cookies, but you'll regret it once the zits start rolling in!
If you have to have a little sweet fix, make sure that it is one you won't regret the very next second! Here are a few of my favorite things to eat when I have a sugar craving that just won't quit!
Fresh Fruits- While fruits contain sugar (some more than others), having them as a snack will not hurt your overall progress. It is a way to get that sweet tooth under control, get refreshed, and have essential vitamins and nutrients incorporated into your diet.
Sugar Substitutes- Now I know that a lot of people are off of the artificial sweeteners and for good reason too! But, I'm not talking about your run of the mill Splenda here. I have made some of the best desserts with almond flour and an all-natural Stevia infused sweetener. And the best part: I have not missed white sugar. Don't believe me? Try one of my go-to recipes here.
Eat Solid- This term is highly recognized...mostly by myself, but it means "eat something that has substance." If I want something sweet and I know for a fact that I will still have that craving after trying the first two options, then I amp it up. I eat something that is my absolute favorite solid food, like a Chipotle bowl or shrimp. While solid foods are not sweet, the idea that you can still have something you legitimately enjoy helps you not feel so cheated. A win-win!
Avoid Trigger Aisles
Going into the grocery store can be one of the most rewarding and defeating situations for a person that loves sweets. If you do well, then you have this feeling of accomplishment! You withstood your temptations and got through it.
However, if you fail, the feeling of defeat ruins your whole day! Once you get home and see those Hostess cakes, it's all over for your goal and out of guilt you eat Every. Last. One.
That is where paying attention to what your buying comes into play. Avoid those trigger areas, like the candy aisle, sugary juice aisle, or the junk food aisles. Focus more on the produce and fresh fruit areas, the meat section, and grab some water to hydrate that skin. Be strategic, be intentional, and get out of there once the wandering starts setting in!
Use Natural Skincare
While all of my tips have been fantastic (I know modesty is a virtue), the payoff for your skin and overall health will seriously be undeniable. But there is just one more tip that's missing- having the right skincare.
If you want consistent, clear skin and to undo the damage of the previous sugar binge, all-natural skincare is the way to go. Choose a system like the Clear Skin Kit that can help heal your skin, fight bacteria, replenish nutrients, and penetrate the deep layers of the skin for lasting acne-free days. It's time for your skin to get in the ring, and all-natural skincare packs a hefty punch!
Taking care of your skin can start from the inside out. It doesn't mean cutting everything that you enjoy, but having a little moderation. With the tips above, you can navigate the world a little better and avoid those sugar traps.
Take care of your skin and body to see radiance from the inside out.
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